JERUSALEM – The Israeli military said Thursday that two rocket had been cut off from Gaza to Tel Aviv, raising sound sirens all over the city and putting pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who are facing reelection for less than a month – strong response.
Residents reported hearing bursts, but no reports of injuries or injuries. The military said that any rocket was blocked by the Israeli defense system of the Iron Dome of Israel, although warning systems were operated as needed.
A rocket can fall into the sea, the Tel Aviv mayor, Ron Huldai, told Israeli television. He said he had ordered the city to open all bomb shelters, but life had appeared normal the moment after the incident.
Netanyahu called an emergency meeting with top security officials.
In early morning Friday the Israeli military said it was targeting "areas of fear" in the Gaza Strip.
While the rocket launches from Gaza is unusual, this is the first time in more than four years that they have targeted the main city of Tel Aviv. Israel and Hamas fought a 50-day summer battle of 2014.
The increase on Thursday was followed by a day of turmoil in Gaza, where Hamas, the militant group that controls Palestine enclave, was forced to place demonstrations against living conditions. Some analysts say Hamas may be trying to cause a chaos.
Others point the finger to Islamic Jihad, the second largest militant organization in Gaza, stating that the group may try to boil Egypt's efforts at brokerage of an agreement between Hamas and Israel. A delegation of Egypt arrived in Gaza on Thursday night.
Islamic Jihad denies that it is behind the attack. Hamas also denied responsibility, pointing out that the attack occurred at the same time group leaders met with Egyptian officials to discuss fire stops. No group immediately takes responsibility.
Last year, Netanyahu was criticized by members of his own coalition government for being soft in Hamas by agreeing with a fire stop in that group after a rocket attack from Gaza to communities in southern Israel. His political opponents also disputed Netanyahu's decision to allow Qatar to deliver $ 15 million a month in Gaza to pay wages of Hamas servants.
Yaakov Amidror, a retired senior general and former national security advisor, believes Netanyahu is "well-acquainted and careful" that the election pressure would not be a factor in determining his response. "There is no real argument in the Jewish community about the need to respond," he told a conference call to reporters.
Israel usually holds Hamas responsible for any violence that comes from Gaza, regardless of which group has committed an attack.
President Trump's special address in the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, responds to Twitter, saying, "Hamas prevented its own people from showing up against Hamas's policy and failure today and now, fire rocket in the cities of Israel OUTRAGEOUS! "
Hazem Balousha in Gaza City contributed this report.